Thursday, 21 February 2013

Trial by immigrant

Continuing the theme of yesterday's post about the Vicky Pryce trial, the Daily Mail has today reported that the jury which took four days to fail to come to a verdict after which they sent the judge a note asking such fundamental questions as, "What is reasonable doubt?" was composed of ten immigrants of Afro-Caribbean or Asian stock and two white people.

Southwark Crown Court is located in a very immigrant-rich area. Even the two white people on the jury are likely to have been immigrants, possibly from Eastern Europe. The jurors were summoned by letters written in eight different languages to encourage participation by people with poor English.

Obviously this is absurd. Only fluent English speakers should be allowed on English juries, and jurors should really be screened by some sort of comprehension and intelligence test.

This blog has occasionally suggested that certain occupations are too sensitive to be given to people who are not "native British" ie not immigrants even if naturalised, and not descended from immigrants in recent times - say since 1945. Jobs such as police officer, army officer, civil servant, MP and the like should be reserved occupations.

And it's time to add "juror" to the list.

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